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Marci Hawks Joins TFA as Executive Director

Tallgrass Film Association has hired Marci Hawks as its new Executive Director. Marci began with the organization in mid-November.
She comes to us with 12 years of service in the non-profit sector, most recently as Director of Development and Community Relations with Wichita Habitat for Humanity.  In that role, she served as the organization’s lead fundraiser as well as managing public relations and marketing.  She brings significant relationships and skills to will be a tremendous benefit to Tallgrass.
 “I am thrilled to be part of the Tallgrass Film Association and look forward to assisting the organization with its growth and stability, working to maintain its excellent reputation while building on its reach and impact," said Marci. "Tallgrass is an outstanding organization and community asset, and I am anxious to roll up my sleeves and get to work with the team.”
TFA also welcomes several new Directors to its Board in 2017, including Art Busch, Jamil Malone, Jennifer Ray, Janice Van Sickle, and past president Paul Witte returns as well.


Tallgrass Staff on the Move

2017 brings staffing changes for Tallgrass Film Association as we welcome Denise Bullock to the Tallgrass team. Denise comes out of retirement to serve as the organization's Finance Director.

Meanwhile, longtime TFA Executive Director and Co-Founder Lela Meadow-Conner remains with the organizaton as Creative Director. She'll play an integral role in stewarding the Tallgrass brand. Collaborating with the Executive Director and Programming team, she'll help to cultivate year-round programming opportunities, and oversee the organization’s marketing and communication efforts. Representing Tallgrass Film Festival throughout the film industry, the Creative Director conceives the festival’s aesthetic, and develops and implements its educational programming, while elevating the filmmaker experience.

Nick Pope, who became the organization's second full time staff member in 2014, adds Director of Education to his existing title of Director of Programming. Nick, who has a film degree from the University of Kansas,  started as a print traffic volunteer in 2003 after graduating from college and worked his way up the programming ladder. In addition to overseeing the programming team, he will cultivate TFA's growing year-round educational offerings for students and amateur and professional filmmakers in the Wichita area.


Tallgrass TV: Alicia Slimmer

Tallgrass TV Host Naythan Smith sat down with Creedmoria filmmaker Alicia Slimmer at the 14th annual Tallgrass Film Festival. The film was both a 2016 Stubbornly Independent nominee and winner of the Golden Strands Programming Award for Best First Feature. Writer/Director/Producer Slimmer borrowed many elements from her own life growing up in Queens, NY, in the 1980s.

Indie Filmmaking Pro Tips:

  • More money was spent on Munchkins than on any other prop because the crew kept eating the "picture food." (Who can blame them, really?)
  • Alicia personally made all 72 deviled eggs you see in the film.
  • She dodged getting a ticket for doing donuts in a parking lot by putting the cops in her film. (Ingenious!)


Tallgrass TV: Beth Dewey

Tallgrass TV host Aaron Wirtz chats with Director/Co-Writer Beth Dewey about Erasing Eden, a 2016 Stubbornly Independent nominee.

Dewey's filmmaking experiece includes working for the legendary Roger Corman, and as a picture editor for the Oscars, she has been nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys.

To Beth, Stubbornly Indepndent means "not only means taking risks but means blasting through one's own comfort zone to approach storytelling in original and unconventional ways. It means telling uncomfortable stories to shine a light on social issues in an effort to better humanity. It means persisting to make a film when all roads lead to "no" and pushing through to honor the voice inside."


Tallgrass TV: Brad Johnson, Ian Nelms & Eshom Nelms

Meet Producer Brad Johnson and Ian Nelms and Eshom Nelms, three of the filmmakers who participated on the 2016 Filmmaker Advisory Board. The Nelms brothers have screened two feature films at Tallgrass including Lost On Purpose and Waffle Street, both of which starred James Lafferty and the latter of which was produced by Johnson.

Together, they will premiere their new film Small Town Crime, starring John Hawkes and Octavia Spencer, at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival.